Avalon U5 Instrument DI
The Avalon U5 Instrument DI delivers true high performance audio. Optimizes absolute signal integrity and musical performance and offers sonic excellence, the Avalon U5 helps you conjure the sweet, vivid sounds your recordings deserve.
The Avalon U5 Pure Class A instrument DI & preamplifier is the most powerful direct box available today. Designed to optimize absolute signal integrity and musical performance, the U5 includes many features and sonic excellence unequaled by lesser designs. The U5 is ideal for bass guitar and acoustic instruments, electric guitars, keyboards, synthesizers and low output pickups.
The Avalon U5 Class A Mono Instrument high-voltage DI-preamp combines a unique passive tone selector with a variable gain preamp and filter. The high input impedance accepts a wide variety of signal levels and instruments from acoustic guitars to high-output active bass guitars and keyboards. The U5 direct box is loaded with sonic character and user features professionals demand. Features include state-of-the-art, high input impedance input stage for zero load effect on sensitive pickups and keyboards, 100% discrete, Pure Class A signal amplifiers, practical user features and rugged hardware designed to deliver true high performance audio for many years.
DESIGNED FOR DEEP & CONTROLLED BASS
Avalon U5 DI-preamps have been in use around the world since 1995. They have found their way into the world's leading musicians rigs and recording sessions and been featured on thousands of the best selling (and sounding) albums and live performances.
MINIMUM SIGNAL PATH DESIGN
The U5 includes a variable gain Class A preamplifier to boost low level pickup signals and a high level speaker input for capturing the live sound of the instruments amplifier. Six passive tone-EQ curves are also included to enhance a variety of acoustic and electric instruments. A high-cut switch eliminates unwanted acoustic pickup and high frequency noise, while a headphone monitor amp has been included for personal listening. Twin DC coupled Class A output amplifiers drive both low level microphone preamp inputs and high level +4dB inputs for direct to tape recording or processing. The active-to-thru switch selects either the instrument input directly or sends the boosted-equalized signal to the amplifier via the front panel jack. A ground isolation switch eliminates any possible earth loop or AC buzz problems with complete safety.
Avalon U5 Instrument DI Features
- Pure Class A, 100% discrete design
- Smooth musical detail and sonic excellence
- Variable gain preamp to +30dB.
- Dual microphone and line outputs
- Hi-Z 3,000,000 ohm input impedance
- Very low noise -100dB
- High headroom +30dB
- Six tone bank selections
- DC coupled Class A output for superior bass
- High cut switch eliminates noise
- LED active signal indicator
- Headphone monitor output jack
- Low distortion less than 0.5% THD and IMD
- High level 400 watt speaker input
- Active to thru selector - ground isolation switch
- 100% discrete power supplies for audio path
- Internal toroidal power supply for low noise
- Long lasting, stainless steel hardware
Avalon U5 Instrument DI Specifications
- Circuit Topology: 100% discrete, high-voltage Class A
- Gain: Switched 3dB steps, maximum gain +30dB
- Input Impedance: 3 ,000,000 ohm unbalanced (single ended)
- Maximum Input Level: +24dBu unbalanced, 400w speaker input
- Output Connectors (2): XLR type, pin 2 hot electronic balanced
- Maximum Output Level (Class A): +30dBu DC coupled, balanced 600 ohms (mic and line out)
- Headphone Output: 0.5w into 600 ohms
- Noise 20kHz Unweighted: -100dBu minimum gain position
- Distortion THD, IMD: 0.1% at +10dB
- Frequency Response, -/+0.5dB: 5Hz to 100kHz
- Frequency Response, -3dB: 1Hz to 500kHz (input band limited)
- High Cut Filter: -3dB at 8kHz minimum phase design
- Tone Selector: Six position rotary switch, all passive filters
- AC Power: Internal toroidal AC supply
- Dimensions: 8.5 x 3.5 x 12 in (216 x 88 x 305mm)
- Weight-Packed: 12lbs (5.4kg)
5 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
My first Avalon product (hopefully not my last!) which lives up to this company's highly regarded reputation. At last, beautiful sound coming from the coolest DI on the planet, with its tone-shaping presets providing a range to suit all occasions (or full by-pass, if you prefer). Great on electric bass and "piezo-fired" acoustic instruments (heaps of gain required? No problem-o!). Highly recommended
We have all heard over and over about how great these sound... all true, the Avalon U5 makes just about any signal you put into it sound it's best. When I bought a U5 and first DI'd my Minimoog Voyager... the difference between the U5 and the low end gear I was using at the time was rather astounding... almost night and day. All of my synths sounded rounder and clearer then I had ever heard them. Since then I have picked up several high end mic pres that cost a LOT more then the U5... they all have DI's that sound great, but the U5 always adds it's own magical touch. When recording guitar or Bass I'll plug into the U5, record the DI'd line level onto one track and send the thru out to a mic'd amp to record on separate track(s). Paired with a reamp there are virtually no limit to processing pre-recorded tracks while maintaining an awesome front end on the way back to your recorder.
This is my main DI box for bass. I use this in a smaller commercial studio on a frequent basis and have been very happy with the results. My clients as well. Although there is only six different voicing options they are good enough to get you in the ballpark of what you need. You can also easily bypass this if you put the DI between an amp head and a cabinet. Been able to get from deep, low foundational bass to mid-range attitude. I've also used this on clean strat sounds with great success. It is costly but I've never been dissatisfied with the results.
I'm rather happy with the Avalon U5. It offers pro options, with a great sound. This unit takes all the quality tones and amplifies them, without some of the lesser tones you may not want. It's a solidly built product, and really does for instruments what a quality mic pre does for mics. A bassist would not go wrong with this unit, and a pro level bassist would be able to just make some magic happen. The 6-mode tone selector is a nice touch, offering different EQ settings, and the one I find most effective for bass is setting #2, with a negative mid-sweep. This unit has ears available, as well, for rack mounting for about $80 (a little steep for ears...) Otherwise, a great addition to a project or pro studio.
This is the only DI I would use for Bass. It's right up there with a good mic on the speaker. It's also really great on acustic guitar and keyboards. It's really easy to get the sound you're after with the tone bank selections. The odds are pretty good that one of the options are going to be just right for whatever you throw at it. And it's built like a tank. Awesome unit!